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Do you have any trouble accessing sleep apnea care because of where you live?

Does anyone find that their environment (rural, urban, suburban) makes it more difficult to access sleep apnea testing or treatment? Maybe getting supplies is less reliable? Or there are fewer healthcare providers? Or perhaps unpredictable weather events are a factor for you? Would love to hear other's experiences!

  1. I live a bit further out from my home hospital system now and have to travel a bit to see my sleep doc. They are great about telemedicine visits, though, which is one hidden blessing from the pandemic. Most times you don't need to go in for a face-to-face with a sleep doc, you just need to answer their questions. Most new machines have compliance software and automatic remote downloading so you no longer need to bring in memory cards for them to upload.

    Also, new thing: my doc/s in general are prescribing blood pressure cuffs so we can do this at home to stay abreast of our numbers, as this is a necessary vital sign to check for sleep disorder patients. Definitely worth having one around for 'just in case.' Prescribing them can help people on limited funds acquire one, though good ones aren't too expensive for most folks.

    Best wishes, Tamara (community advocate)

    1. I had no problem when I lived in a suburban community outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. My doctor set up the sleep study with no prompting from me...

      But things changed radically when we moved to a rural area of central Maine. I mentioned my sleep issues to my PCP during a wellness exam. I was waking up during the middle of the night and not falling asleep. His only response was to ask if that made me angry. I said yes. He said I should not get angry!

      I asked for a better explanation and he said a wellness exam does not get into sleep issues. I immediately started a search and 2 months later found another PCP who has been much more understanding. I now use a brand-new state-of-the-art CPAP machine with a minimal nasal mask, automatic pressure adjustment, humidity control, and very quiet / nearly silent.

      1. Wow, glad you advocated for yourself and found a PCP who listening to you about your sleep issues. You would think those kinds of issues are just as important since they can impact so many aspects of your health. Glad you are using a CPAP and it's working. Warmly, Kristin (Team Member)

      2. I second what Kirsten said, WOW! So sorry you had to go through that. However, I am very happy you found a better doctor who does listen to you and that you got your state-of-the -art set up!!! Warmly, Lisa ( Team Member and Advocate)

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